WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States called for a “greater commitment” from Iraq’s government on Wednesday in the fight against Islamic State as it lamented Baghdad’s failure to deliver enough soldiers for training and underscored the need to empower Sunni tribesmen.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a congressional hearing that the U.S. military had hoped to train 24,000 Iraqi security forces by this fall but had only received enough recruits to train about 9,000 so far.
A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Army to stop barring a Sikh college student from participating in reserve officer training because of his beard and turban, a decision welcomed on Monday as a step toward more religious Sikhs serving in the military.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Afghan security forces have demonstrated resilience in heavy fighting with the Taliban this year, but suffered high casualties and must continue to improve to achieve more than a stalemate this fighting season, the Pentagon said in report released on Tuesday.
The 108-page Defense Department report to Congress stressed the importance of Afghan security forces demonstrating their effectiveness against the Taliban in their first full year with overall responsibility for the country’s security.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has said American forces being sent to a new operations center in the heart of the war against Islamic State will not engage in combat, but they will do almost everything but fight to support the beleaguered Iraqi forces.
U.S. defense officials say the tasks of the troops going to Taqaddum air base will range from advising Iraqi commanders how to ensure soldiers have enough bullets to integrating air power into combat plans.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Wednesday proposed a reform of its retirement system, which would cut guaranteed benefits for those who serve 20 years while boosting retention pay and adding a retirement savings plan to ensure most troops can leave with a benefit.
Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the proposal submitted to Congress would “achieve real tangible savings” of $8.1 billion over 10 years for the Defense Department.
WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama is considering expanding the number of training sites for Iraqi forces to bolster the battle against Islamic State, U.S. military officials said on Tuesday, which could mean deploying hundreds more U.S. forces in Iraq.
The proposed build-up follows only sporadic successes in the months-long U.S.-backed Iraqi drive to push back Islamic State, a drive that suffered a severe setback with the fall of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi last month.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes have opened supply lines into Baiji town and its nearby oil refinery, making progress at last against Islamic State rebels in a seesaw battle that has gone on for months, the Pentagon said on Monday.
Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Defense Department spokesman, said the Pentagon was not ready to declare Baiji refinery, the country’s biggest, or the town “liberated,” but progress was being made.
MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – U.S Defense
Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he was working with the
White House to prepare a proposal for Congress on closing the
Guantanamo prison for terrorism suspects, a long-time goal of
President Barack Obama.
The Senate is currently debating an annual defense policy
bill that would permit closure of the prison, but only if the
president first submits a plan that is approved by the
MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – U.S Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he was working with the White House to prepare a proposal for Congress on closing the Guantanamo prison for terrorism suspects, a long-time goal of President Barack Obama.
The Senate is currently debating an annual defense policy bill that would permit closure of the prison, but only if the president first submits a plan that is approved by the Republican-led Congress.
MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – The United States needs to take new steps to respond to the Ukraine conflict because economic sanctions and other Western actions have failed to get Russian President Vladimir Putin to reverse course, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday.
Carter, speaking after conferring with U.S. officials in Europe, said the Pentagon was watching the Ukraine situation very closely and was concerned about “further things happening” after the worst upsurge in fighting in months.